does ivy harm trees as it climbs up them?
ivy penetrates the bark of trees; does it absorb water only or food?
- BeulahLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Ivy is not parasitic, it does not feed off the tree it climbs, but Ivy can over time add so much weight to a tree that it increases the possibility of breaking loose bark. If it is not restricted to the trunk, but has spread out into the canopy, it increases the chance of blow-down in high winds, & especially in stormy areas adds risk. Ivy also increases limb loss in high winds. Ivy heightens these risks by increasing the tree's wind resistance. It is recommendable to remove at least any ivy that climbs away from the trunk, as that which clings to the trunk per se does not increase wind resistance. Ivy that has spread into the canopy can out-compete the tree for sunlight.
Ivy can hide tree-killing infestations, fungus, & diseases that are treatable if spotted in time, but won't be spotted beneath the ivy. Trees that are already ill or near the end of their lives, but which might have had a decade or so of attractive life left in them, may have their time shortened by ivy, by harboring bacterial disease or by providing a haven for increasing numbers of insects, some of which are harmful to trees. Ivy that is doing especially well in a tree can be an early sign that the tree is in decline, & the ivy can hasten the development of disease, but it is not the cause of the sickness.
Hope this helps
- spidermanLv 71 decade ago
Ivy does little direct harm other than competing for nutrients with the supporting tree . It is not a parasite.
Indirectly it can do harm. Two winters ago many trees were blown down by autumn gales in our neighbourhood; in every case the tree bore a heavy 'burden' of ivy and it appears that the wind resistance created by the ivy had made the tree vulnerable.
Ivy is quite valuable ecologically in that it provides shelter and nesting sites for many creatures. On the down side many lichens which like tree bark as a habitat die out as ivy takes over.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Ivy strangles trees and kills them eventually. It might be pretty but it's a parasite and should be cut away to protect the tree. If you cut through it near the ground then the ivy on the tree will die and will be easy to pull off after a few weeks when it dries out.
- 1 decade ago
Like every plant ivy needs food to live , it will compete for this food with the tree ,so yes it dose harm the tree
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- 1 decade ago
the ivy is not good for the tree but in the forest it is a natural habitat for many wild creatures. It is not desirable in a garden however so chop the main stalks at ground level and let it die
- 1 decade ago
no in a nut shell ivy uses the trees to climb up to the light and dose no harm allso it has an advantage to the birds for roost and nesting so let it growSource(s): exp and have ivy in my garden growing up conifers
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